Rodney Cavalier Speech: Could Chifley Win Labor Preselection Today?

In a timely speech, the former NSW Labor minister Rodney Cavalier has asked whether Ben Chifley could win Labor preselection today.

Rodney Cavalier

Speaking to the Fabian Society, Cavalier said a new political class now dominated preselections in the Labor Party. He said: “In the absence of intervention at the level of the parliamentary leadership, preselection in seats which matter falls exclusively to the inhabitants of the political class. The political class embraces union officials, ministerial and parliamentary staffs and party employees.”

Cavalier’s speech examines the nature of the modern Labor and the self-perpetuating oligarchies that control it.

Cavalier was a member of the NSW parliament from 1978-88. He was Education Minister in the Wran and Unsworth governments between 1984-88.

Speech by Rodney Cavalier to a NSW Fabian Society seminar at Gleebooks.

Could Chifley win Labor preselection today?

Could Ben Chifley win a Labor preselection today? No.

Could a railwayman from Bathurst win preselection today? No.

Could a man or woman who works during the day or night in a job that involves getting dirty and perspiring and without access to a telephone during working hours win a preselection today? No.

Could a professional devoted to his practice and his clients – that is, willing to work long hours, including night and weekends in preparation and research – could such a person win a preselection today? No.

Who can win a preselection today? [Read more…]

Electors Looking For Honesty: The Age

This is the editorial from the Melbourne Age on March 19, 1951.

It came the day after Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced a double dissolution of the federal parliament and an election on April 28.

It was just the second double dissolution in the federation’s 50-year history.

Menzies was elected in December 1949. He opted for a double dissolution after the Senate failed to pass a piece of banking legislation. Menzies advised the Governor-General, William McKell that the Senate’s referral of the bill to a committee constituted a “failure to pass”, in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution. [Read more…]

“The Light On The Hill” – Speech by Ben Chifley

Prime Minister Ben Chifley delivered this speech to an ALP Conference in 1949.

The “light on the hill” phrase has resonated down the years as epitomising the Labor philosophy.

Text of Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s 1949 speech to the NSW ALP Conference.

Joseph Benedict Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia 1945-49I have had the privilege of leading the Labour Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man-killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement.

No Labour Minister or leader ever has an easy job. The urgency that rests behind the Labour movement, pushing it on to do things, to create new conditions, to reorganise the economy of the country, always means that the people who work within the Labour movement, people who lead, can never have an easy job. The job of the evangelist is never easy. [Read more…]